Oxfordshire health and social care providers are developing a joint plan to enable patients to leave hospital sooner to be cared for in the best place for them.

Up to 150 patients currently delayed in Oxfordshire’s hospitals will be transferred to a number of the county’s nursing homes for intermediate care. Patients will remain in the nursing homes for a period of up to eight weeks, where they will receive multi-disciplinary clinical and social work rehabilitation support to enable them to return home at the earliest possible opportunity.

Where it is more appropriate, other patients will be transferred from hospital to home with an appropriate package of care to support them remaining there. The transfers out of hospital are expected to take place in early December.

The Oxfordshire health and social care system has long-standing problems in being able to transfer patients to the next stage of their care from Oxford University Hospitals – whether home with domiciliary support, or to a residential or nursing home setting.  Likewise, Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust experiences delays in being able to transfer patients from community hospitals.

Currently there are 120 patients in Oxford’s John Radcliffe Hospital, the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, and in the Horton General Hospital in Banbury and a further 30 patients across Oxfordshire’s community hospitals who are waiting to move on to the next stage of their care.

Intermediate care in a nursing home environment offers the most appropriate care for such patients whilst rehabilitation continues and arrangements for their return to home or longer term placement are made.

Delays in transferring patients can have a considerable impact on hospital services, as the inability to discharge patients in a timely manner makes it more difficult to admit patients who need to be in hospital for both emergency and planned treatment.  The transfer plan will relieve pressure on the county’s Emergency Departments at the John Radcliffe Hospital and the Horton General Hospital by releasing capacity and allowing extra beds to be opened in the Emergency Assessment Units.  This will facilitate the flow of people through the Emergency Departments.

See here for a video showing health system leaders explain about a joint plan to enable patients waiting for intermediate care to leave hospital sooner and be cared for in the best place for them.